Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Kabocha Squash

I love a warming bowl of spicy vegetarian chili on a cold day. The weather is just now beginning to feel “fall like”, so I got in the mood to make it!

I had recently bought a nice Kabocha Squash at the farmers’ market so I decided to add that to my chili. Kabocha Squash is incredibly dense and sweet when roasted.

(You can substitute any squash actually, like Butternut, Acorn or Delicata. If you want to make this recipe even easier, get the already cubed Butternut Squash at the market).

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(makes 4 servings)

  • 2 TB. of olive oil
  • 1 small squash ( about 2 – 3 cups of cut squash pieces roasted)
  • 1 small onion (sliced and chopped)
  • 1 small red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves (peeled & minced)
  • 1 28 oz. jar or can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans  (drained)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 Tb. of chili powder
  • 1 TB. of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chipotle seasoning (optional)

****salt & pepper to taste

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* First wash and peel the squash. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Next, with a large sharp knife, cut it into slices about 1″ wide. (This squash is a bit tough to cut, and peeling it first makes it easier – so be careful to keep your fingers out of the way!)

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Place the squash slices on a flat baking dish and brush well with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and then place in a 375 degree oven for about 15 – 20  minutes. Bake it until it is golden brown and easily pierced with a knife. While the squash is roasting in the oven, you can begin cooking the chili over the stove.

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Saute the onion, garlic and sliced red pepper in a large pot in the olive oil until golden. Add the jar of tomatoes, the spices and the drained cans of beans and stir together. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and let this all simmer on the stove on medium heat for about 15 – 20 minutes. (you can let it simmer on very low heat until ready to serve)

When the squash is soft and lightly browned, add 2 cups of it (cut into chunks) to the soup. I placed a few larger roasted squash slices to the top of the pot before serving.

(Any leftover roasted squash is amazing in a salad for lunch the next day!)

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This is a perfect dish for a fall meal. Serve it with a side green salad and a toasted slices of country bread, or cornbread.  My husband likes it with some cheddar cheese grated on the top for extra deliciousness!



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